Anybody ever see a white Mule Deer?

I saw three muleys this afternoon, this time of year can’t tell male from female at a distance. The first one was close, I could have taken it with a pistol easily, and it immediately started pronking but otherwise didn’t seem upset by the Jeep or work very hard to make distance.

The other two came out of cover within seconds, farther away but still easily within 50 yards. This was on the ridge over the Lair; I’ve been seeing tracks all over and it’s nice to see them coming so close again. But what startled me a bit was that one of the two I saw together was white. I’ve never seen a white muley before.

I left the ridge and drove to Landlady’s with some water jugs for the chickens, and on her driveway I could see that white deer clearly on the ridge across the wash. With binoculars I probably could have spotted the others, but now that I knew what I was looking at the white one stood out plainly. Doesn’t seem like much of a survival trait. It must suck to be a white deer.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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13 Responses to Anybody ever see a white Mule Deer?

  1. Mike says:

    Never saw a white deer but up here in Western WA where I cut the winter’s firewood, there’s a local herd of elk. I pay a yearly fee for gate keys to private timber property where I do the cutting and fall deer hunting. The company doesn’t allow elk hunting so there’s quite a population and they aren’t too nervous with people around. There’s a white bull elk out there that I first saw as a calf. The last time I saw him a couple of years ago he was a nice four point.

  2. nonoyo bizness says:

    Saw a parti color white and brown whitetail doe once out in the Poconos.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s called stotting. Not pronking.

  4. Mike says:

    I’ve got to take your word on that, Anonymous. I wouldn’t know a stotting from a pronking on the very best of days. Don’t recall ever hearing either term prior to this evening.

  5. Rick says:

    I’ve seen a white whitetail deer for a couple years in Michigan. I always see it among the homes in a small town I drive through…

  6. Well – it’s a shame you’d bring something like this up and then not to have photos to go along… See how you are. You know what they say – “Pics or it didn’t happen.”

    I ran a quick search and it seems it does happen – not surprised about that considering it happens with other animals – as a rarity. In all my talks with guides, ranch hands, enthusiasts, and field students I can’t recall that coming up. I’ve also got a hunch that if I’d asked about it I’d at least have heard a second-hand story or two.

    I’d take it as a good omen and go with that! Maybe pick yourself a ‘native’ name to go along with your ‘vision path’…

    Oh – and BTW – pretty darn racissssss of you to have noticed that poor victimised creature and ‘shamed’ it for all of us. Prob’ly just as well you didn’t take any pictures.

  7. anonymous says:

    Albinos wild animals are pretty rare, as are piebald (mixture of white / standard hide colors) so that was definitely a milestone on your end. I have never heard of the terms stotting / pronking either, you learn something every day.

  8. Ben says:

    “Albinos wild animals are pretty rare” So rare that native Americans considered white buffaloes sacred. So perhaps you should light a candle or something whenever you spot that white mule deer?

  9. Joel says:

    PNO: Didn’t you get the memo? Whites can’t be victims, so picking on one isn’t racism. But I do confess I said bad words about the damn fool who didn’t bring the camera. Also, my new name is – hm – Falls Apart Slowly doesn’t really ring…

    Anon: As far as I can tell – and you made me look it up – stotting and pronking are the same things. When the whitetails in Michigan did it, we just called it bouncing.

  10. Kentucky says:

    Seems I have heard/seen that there can be white variations that are not truly albino . . . but I have no immediate documentation for that.

  11. Joel says:

    Not an albino. I did a little googling around, and it seems there is a white variant. Rare, but far from unheard of.

  12. Kentucky says:

    Aw, heck . . . he’s just in his winter camo, that’s all.


To the stake with the heretic!